The Manatee County School District may have a lawsuit on its hands.
Early this year, two district employees sent a file containing 7,700 employees personal information to a hacker, under the impression they were fulfilling a request from Superintendent Diana Greene.
- 20 affected employees took action after breach
- District has made changes to handling email requests
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On June 14, 20 of those affected, many who are retired employees, took legal action.
"Each of them have had significant damage with the filing of false tax returns, which caused a delay in the filing of their legitimate return," said attorney John Yanchunis, who is representing the group.
A claim letter was sent to the district outlining that each of the 20 workers were seeking damages for lost time and money.
"They've spent a tremendous amount of time to deal with the wreckage, as well as constantly having to monitor credit reports," detailed Yanchunis.
- PREVIOUS STORIES
- Feb 15, 2017: Two Manatee school employees disciplined for data breach
- Feb. 7, 2017: Email phishing scheme puts thousands of Manatee school employees at risk
The district has taken responsibility since they learned of the incident on February 3, and they quickly made changes to how the district handles email requests.
"Whenever we have an email from an outside source, we are alerted," said Mitchell Teitelbaum, the district's general council. "We know now it's coming from an outside source so we know it's not internal."
The district also set each affected employee up with an identity protection and credit monitoring service, as a way to help employees.
"Proactive measures were taken immediately," Teitelbaum explained.
But the 20 people who are seeking action don't feel the same way.
"The type of product offered here is the bargain bottom of the basement type of identity protection available, and two years is woefully inadequate," rebutted Yanchunis.
Yanchunis says the long-term affects of leaked social security numbers has serious repercussions, and they plan to file a class action lawsuit as soon as state laws allow.